TaNC News


Hold the Date!

Towards a National Collection

Two-Day Conference 2024

The TaNC directorate is pleased to announce that the programme’s final conference will take place on 20 and 21 November 2024 at the Contact Theatre, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6JA. The TaNC Conference 2024 will be an in person conference with hybrid access. Registration for in-person and online attendance will open in summer 2024. The TaNC Conference 2024 will be a celebration of the research and development embraced and supported by TaNC. In 2021, TaNC initiated five major Discovery Projects aiming to investigate and harness digital technologies in order to break down the barriers between different cultural heritage collections, opening them up to new research, and enhancing opportunities for public engagement. At the conference, the TaNC Discovery Projects will present their achievements through a variety of presentations as well as dynamic and performative media. At the programme’s final conference, TaNC will also launch its policy recommendations, aiming to help and inspire the UK cultural heritage sector and its funders to transition to a common set of standards which make collections more visible, discoverable, inter-operable and secure.


Discovery Projects Second Reports

Towards a National Collection Zenodo Community

All of our TaNC Discovery Projects have now published their Second Report. These reports present the primary milestones, achievements and challenges behind the Discovery Projects, and are completely available in our Zenodo community repository.

Image of Discovery Projects

Zenodo Community


Towards a National Collection Conference 2023:

Unlocking the Potential of Digital Collections

We are to share the recordings of our first conference, where leaders and decision makers from across the cultural heritage sector, academics and funders with related interests delivered exciting presentations and discussions. Contributions were aiming to highlight TaNC’s key achievements, challenges and ambitions, set them in an international context, and look to the future of how an infrastructure for UK digital cultural heritage collections can be shaped and supported.

Image of Discovery Projects

View Conference Recording


Discovery Projects First Reports

Towards a National Collection Zenodo Community

All of our TaNC Discovery Projects have now published their First Report. These reports present the primary milestones, achievements and challenges behind the Discovery Projects, and are completely available in our Zenodo community repository.

Image of Discovery Projects

Zenodo Community


A Culture of Copyright: A scoping study on open access to digital cultural heritage collections in the UK

Andrea Wallace, Researcher in Cultural Heritage Law

This report gives an overview of focused on how the UK GLAM sector fares in the global open GLAM landscape, what barriers reinforce a culture of copyright and the potential for open GLAM in the UK.

PDF Report Zenodo Link

Digital Collections Audit Report

Collections Trust & Intelligent Heritage

Between September 2021 and the end of January 2022, Collections Trust carried out an audit of digital collections in the UK’s leading cultural heritage institutions. The aim of the audit was to understand the number, scale and attributes of digitally-accessible collections across the UK cultural heritage sector that might form part of a future national digital collection infrastructure.

PDF Report Zenodo Link


Art UK: Opening Up Access to the Nation's Art

Aidan McNeill, Head of Copyright and Licensing, Art UK

The report details Art UK’s approach to image rights management, together with the technology used to make images available to view online.

PDF Report Zenodo Link

International Benchmarking Review

Dr Carlotta Paltrinieri, Senior Researcher, Towards a National Collection

The focus of this report are digital initiatives worldwide that fall under two categories: initiatives that are as close as possible to the scope and reach of the TaNC programme, meaning initiatives that are multi sectoral, multi collection, and that connect cultural objects and records at a national scale; and initiatives that offer models for best practice in relevant areas

PDF Report Zenodo Link

Online User Research Literature Review:
UK Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) Digital Collections

Claire Bailey-Ross (University of Portsmouth)

A proper understanding of who uses digital collections and how, is critical for the success of the UK’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums in the information age. This review looks at available work from 2015 to 2021 to compare ways in which users and their behaviours have been categorised, and to identify areas where further discussion is required.

PDF Report Zenodo Link

Early Report of the
Persistent Identifiers Project

Wednesday 28th July 2021
14:00-15:30 BST

The Persistent Identifiers as IRO Infrastructure project has delivered a report on their early findings on how to take forward persistent identifiers (PIDs) as a core component of infrastructure in support of joining heritage collections together as a ‘National Collection’.

Click Here For the Report

COVID-19 Projects Announcement

The three digital projects were selected as part of TaNC’s ‘Covid-19 Urgency Call’ to provide a critical and time-sensitive evaluation of the digital practice undertaken by museums during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide scalable lessons to inform future museum practice as well as the overall TaNC programme.

More Information on the Projects

Foundation Projects
Interim Reports

Interim Reports from our Foundation Projects are now published. The eight reports make recommendations for the further development of the DigitalHumanities landscape in the UK.

Project Reports

Six of our Foundation Projects PI presented their findings in a series of webinars. Below are the links to the record presentations.

Persistent Identifiers & Locating a National Collection

Heritage Connector & Deep Discoveries

Provisional Semantics & Engaging Crowds



International Webinar:
Digital Public Engagement Strategies

Wednesday 28th July 2021

In this webinar speakers from The Smithsonian Transcription Center and The Heritage Lab, shared their digital engagement strategies for engaging the public in collections, research, and education resources.Speakers

View Webinar Recording

International Webinar:
Copyright and Open Access for Digital Collections: a Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday 26th May 2021

In this webinar leading thinkers in the digital copyright sphere participated in a roundtable discussion, sharing their honest views on the purposes of copyright, the re-use of data and digital reproductions in collections, and the revenue, costs and hidden costs behind Open Access.

View Webinar Recording

International Webinar:
CulturaItalia & Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

Wednesday 21st April 2021

The webinar featured speakers from CulturaItalia and Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek , excellent examples of initiatives aimed at building a national, cross-sectoral, and multi-collection platform.

View Webinar Recording

TaNC Events